Prayer is a lot of things, but despite that I at least tend to camp out on things that prayer isn’t.  So for my own sake I’m going to remind myself on all the things that prayer is NOT.

Prayer is not…

A good luck charm.  It isn’t a rabbit’s foot to hold and caress while I’m scared out of my mind and then ignore every other day of the week.

A bargaining table.  It doesn’t matter how much I’m willing to give for a certain blessing, prayer is not a bargaining table.

A bargaining chip. It isn’t something to offer up in exchange for something else.

Brownie points.  So this is a lot like the previous one, but you get the idea: prayer is not a way to suck up to the boss.

A guilt trip. When praying in a group or aloud, don’t pray to make others feel bad or convict them of some perceived sin.  That’s just wrong.

Preaching. Again, in a group setting when praying aloud, this is not the time to flex preaching muscles.

Problem solving. Don’t get me wrong, if you have a problem pray about it, but don’t think that the only thing you have to do to get that new job is pray.  You still have to send out job applications and attend interviews.

A last resort. If you need to pray about it at the end, you really should have been praying about it at the beginning.  (oh yeah, that one definitely has three fingers pointed back at me.)

About us.  Do we ask God for things in prayer?  Sure.  Do we beg Him to enter our lives or help us with problems? Absolutely.  But at the end of the day, prayer isn’t about us.  Prayer is about God because even though we’re asking for stuff, it’s His glory that’s revealed when our prayers are answered. Not our faith, not our piety or faithfulness or steadfastness or whatever but His glory that is revealed.